Taiwan still do not know whether their biggest star, pitcher Chien-Ming Wang of New York Yankees, will attend World Baseball Classic or not.
Based on SAM BORDEN of New York Daily News, Yankees has submitted a list of players to the Classic committee they wanted removed due to consideration of legitimate reasons like age, injury history and insurance. Their requests were granted include Randy Johnson, Mike Mussina, Carl Pavano and Jorge Posada, but Wang status unknown.
Wang is on the preliminary 60-man roster of Chinese Taipei WBC Team, but final roster is not officially announced yet. Wang is a national hero because his performance in Yankees in 2005, under some pressure from his country to participate.
Yankees’ main concern is Wang’s shoulder. He went on the disabled list after the All-Star break, and return in September. The Bombers do not want him to accelerate his preseason throwing program or overextend himself during an international game, thus leaving him weak or injury during the season.
“The bottom line is if he’s healthy enough to participate in spring training and everything that goes along with that, then he should be able to participate in the event,” said Wang’s agent, Alan Nero. “My feeling is that if he wants to participate I would encourage him to do so. At the same time I understand where the Yankees are coming from. They’re trying to protect their asset.”
The Yankees are expecting Wang to be a key piece in their rotation in 2006 and GM Brian Cashman recently joked that Wang is the “most asked-about player in the league” during trade discussions because of his talent and low salary.
The Bombers don’t plan to deal him, but may not be able to keep him away from the WBC. Joe Torre has said he’s not as concerned about his position players who will take part but would be worried about the pitchers.
According to his agent, Alan Chang, Chien-Ming Wang will report to Tampa in early January and have his right shoulder examined by Yankee doctors. The Yanks will then tell Wang their opinion on whether he is healthy enough to participate in the World Baseball Classic.
So we probably will not know the final decision until January.